Obama-Era Acquisition Leaders Welcome Trump Efficiency Efforts

Though new administrations are famous for rebranding their predecessors’ themes, President Trump’s recently announced efficiency reforms are being welcomed by the Obama-era planners of such acquisition initiatives as category management and shared services.

Trump’s April 12 memo on reorganizing agencies is an “exciting opportunity for our office,” said Lesley Field, for years the deputy administrator for Federal Procurement Policy at the Office of Management and Budget. “It’s a good nod to the importance of career people that will keep what we’re doing alive,” she told a Thursday panel put on by the Association for Federal Information Resources Management, a volunteer, education group.

Field said Trump’s high-level efforts “show there’s commitment,” and that White House procurement specialists have been holding workshops. “We’ve made lots of progress in the last two years, have our folks in place and more data than ever, she said. “You could tweak this or that” part of the programs aimed at improving how taxpayer dollars are spent, “but the foundation is there. If the new administration wants to ramp it up, we’ll be ready” to push forward such projects as the year-old campaign to simplify purchasing into 10 categories.

And though Budget Director Mick Mulvaney declined to use the Obama-era budget comparison tool called FedStat, “we’re asking agencies for their benchmarks and metrics, which is a good proxy,” she said.

Equally supportive was Thomas Sharpe, for four years the commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service at the General Services Administration, though he stressed that he wasn’t speaking for the new administration. “It’s the new administration’s prerogative, but we’re ready to execute,” he said. “Innovation in acquisition has been shown to be part of every discussion, whether its speed or increased value,” he said. “Austere times, which we’re apparently entering, call for faster, bolder action.”

Sharpe described GSA’s active role in implementing the Technology Transformation Service and the online Gateway Acquisition portal, which was unveiled last year and has signed up 13,000 registrants from agencies as well as industry. He said GSA has done a better job of listening to industry, though that doesn’t always achieve consensus in acquisition innovation.

Acquisition officers from the Homeland Security and Defense departments provided the “customer-level” view of how agencies can exploit category management. The Pentagon spends $145 billion on logistics alone, noted Lisa Roberts, Transportation and Logistics Category Manager for the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

She recently discovered that package delivery contracts across the government number about 100, 90 percent of which were with three vendors, she said. Now under category management, DoD has one governmentwide contract to be awarded in June and implemented in October.

Future adaptations are likely in the Pentagon’s $4.5 billion annual spend on non-combat vehicles and fuel, she said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.